Self-Care During the Pandemic

Less than one week into Utah’s “social distancing” initiatives, many students and members of the SUU community find themselves struggling to find any sense of normalcy at this alarming time.

Toilet paper shortages, restaurants closing and an exhausted Netflix library are just the beginning of the many stressors the nation is dealing with.

Instead of stress-eating and laying in bed all day, the following tips can help maintain a healthy lifestyle while isolating for the sake of our physical health.

  • Keep a routine: Aside from the fact that the world is dealing with a worldwide pandemic, sticking to a routine boasts several benefits in our daily, normal lives. Your routine should include getting enough sleep, getting out of bed at a decent time every day, daily habits, your diet and exercise. 
  • Exercise: While daily exercise should be a part of your daily routine, things get a little more complicated when you can’t go to the gym. Working out at home by doing simple exercises such as push-ups, sit-ups, planks and calf extensions will help your body and mind both stay healthy.
  • Reach out to friends and family: There is no better time to connect or catch up with loved ones than right now. Especially for those who are living on their own, as more and more businesses begin to operate remotely, meeting your communication needs via phone call or video chat is essential during isolation. Schedule a time to eat dinner together or play a board game together online. Facetime, Skype, Zoom, Facebook Messenger, Instagram and Google Duo are just a few of the available applications to help you connect. As sociologist Eric Klinenberg said to the New York Times, “We need social solidarity, not just social distancing.”
  • Limit social media consumption: Believe it or not, just 15-30 minutes of media consumption per day is enough to keep you informed of and engaged in current events. When you do get online, be sure you are receiving information from reliable sources, such as your local health department or the CDC.
  • Meditate: Much like exercising, meditation has many benefits. Try lying down with your eyes closed, palms up, while focusing on your breath. Closely related to mediation, yoga is also proven to be an effective means for managing both physical and mental stress. A simple YouTube search reveals hundreds of videos for all levels of yoga practitioners.
  • Read: Everyone has a book (or ten) that they have wanted to read, but just never seemed to have the time. Not only is reading a great way to entertain and pass the time, but reading has numerous benefits that go beyond simple words on a page. 

It’s no secret that self-care is essential during this time of panic. As we all learn to accept that the spread of COVID-19 is inevitable, there are many ways we can find peace in taking care of ourselves as this temporary pandemic runs its course.